We are still not over the news that South-African designer Thebe Magugu won the 2019 LVMH prize for emerging talent. He broke records by becoming the first African designer to be awarded the prize, the industry’s most prestigious talent prize.

According to the judges, Thebe‘s designs stood out because he married creative flair with commercial intuition, and it was very impressive to see, despite the outstanding standard of the other finalists.

We love the global African representation, getting recognition for the boundless talents in Africa, talk about breaking glass ceilings!

Here’s everything we love about Thebe:

Designer Thebe Magugu wins the 2019 LVMH Prize

Thebe‘s pieces are always unified by themes of juxtaposition. He is interested in exploring the disparity between masculinity & femininity, tradition & experiment, overlarge & abridged and other differences in the design of his garments.

His collection “Geology SS17” was an awareness of the socio-political climate of South Africa that moved him to imagine a contemporary woman who chooses to escape its pressures for a simpler life in the wild. She breaks away from the buzz of city living to recenter and reinvigorate herself.

Designer Thebe Magugu explores escapism in his latest collection
Designer Thebe Magugu explores escapism in his latest collection

Having debuted at South African Fashion Week 2017, his collection Home Economics was born as reactionary commentary on the current political climate in South Africa and abroad, using the largely female-slanted high school subject of Home Economics as an encapsulating symbol.

“Women who assert any sense of self-government are always seen as a threat to be stifled, stemming from the damaging fear of the feminine – that’s why they can be discredited as problematic or discarded in their field,” says the designer, “This collection is commentary on that – references about homemaking & consumerism communicate ideas of expectation and disposability.”

Magugu’s treatment of the subject extends even to the colour palette and patterning of the garments. His choices were made to represent the cleaning materials often found beneath the kitchen sink and the visual effect acting as a metaphor for the caustic attitude that fiercely independent women are sometimes met with.

“The colours remind one of chemicals that reacted badly with one another – magnesium purples, high-in-alkaline pinks with sulphuric brightness.”

Thebe Magugu collection on gender expectation and domesticity
Thebe Magugu collection on gender expectation and domesticity

We are definitely loving Thebe‘s designs the Literature behind his inspiration.

Good looking out to him!


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